Do you struggle to say no? Even if you really don’t want to do something? There can be a lot of pressure to say yes when you are worried more about what other people might think or feel than what you truly want.
In today’s episode I’m telling you why this can be such a common problem. Then I’ll tell you how you can say no without any guilt. You don’t want to miss this!
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welcome to smooth stones, a podcast for moms raising children on earth while remembering their babies in heaven. Come on in and let’s chat. I’m Amy. And I’m so glad your
friends and Merry Christmas. If you celebrate Christmas, I do celebrate Christmas and I love this season and I know it can be really hard. So if you are struggling, I want to just send you a big hug out through the airwaves and know that I am thinking about you. And praying for you and hoping that you find ways to allow for grief and joy to co-exist this season.
A lot of people were talking about the winter solstice and it’s getting dark and I hope you can find ways to bring light into your life. And I think that’s something I love about the holidays is it is dark, but those little lights are shining and they bring so much warmth and comfort. It’s one of my favorite things about this time of year is the lights.
So find a way to bring some light. Yeah. And if you need extra support, if you’re finding that looking forward is hard that even thinking about what next year is going to bring is hard. Let me help you. I am taking new clients in the new year. It is a great time to prioritize you. It’s I think it’s a special time to just look at your priorities and see what you need.
I really want you to think about hiring a life coach because it makes everything easier. If you are grieving, if you are thinking about being pregnant after loss, you’re pregnant after loss, or you’ve just got some big goals. I want to help you get the results that you want. All you have to do is go to the link in the show notes, or go to smooth stones, coaching.com, and you can sign up for a consult call.
And I will tell you all about how you can work with me and get you set up. Let’s talk about today’s topic. It is a good one, and I think perfect timing of, for the holiday season. We are going to talk about saying no. And I thought it was interesting as I researched for this topic, as I always do, I looked at some of my friends who are coaches and there’s so many of them and I’m so lucky.
I love being a life coach because I have so many friends who are life coaches and. Every single one of them had a podcast episode or a blog post or something where they have taught about how to say no. And what that shows me is it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are in life. We have a really hard time saying no.
And there’s a lot of reasons for that. I think we worry a lot about what other people are gonna think, how they’re gonna react. And if we can deal with the consequences of us saying, no maybe you want to say no to something at work. Maybe your boss just keeps emailing you throughout the holidays and you want to say, Hey, I want to be with my family, but you’re worried there might be repercussions.
Maybe you want to tell a family member? No, we’re not coming to this party. And you’re worried about those repercussions and just even in our day to day life, how many times do we say yes when we really want to say no? So I want to tell you how to do this in a way that feels good and right. And it takes care of you while also being the kind of person that you want to be.
I don’t think. You want to expect it to just say no to everything and shut everyone down and not care about how they think or feel. I’m guessing that you do care about the people in your lives. And so you want to be the best kind of person you can, as you say no, but here’s why it’s so important to say no, I’ve got three things.
And I broke it down real simple. The first one is you are always saying no to something. And I want you to think about that when you say yes to something you don’t want to do, you’re actually saying no to yourself.
Very often we put ourselves at the bottom of our lists, especially as women, especially as mothers, especially as grievers, when we feel like we just don’t have the emotional strength to really say what we want. It seems easier to just go along with it and say yes, and feel awful and fake it. Then it does to say what we really want.
So you are always saying. No to something. And I want you to think about that in the sense that what do you want to say no to how often are you saying no to yourself? How often are you putting your needs last? And do you want to change that? And you might not, but if you do pay attention,
Another question you can ask yourself is what am I saying no to, if I say yes to this. So think of an example in your life, maybe we’ll just use a holiday party, if you don’t want to go, but you say, yes, what are you saying? No to maybe you’re saying no to your own mental health, maybe you’re saying no to something else that you wanted to do or something else you wanted to have planned, but you’re more worried about saying no to this particular party.
And so you’re giving that up. Ask yourself. That question I’ll repeat it is what am I saying no to, if I say yes to this, because there’s always something it’s always a trade off and that’s not a bad thing. It’s just really important to be aware of it. Because if we’re not paying attention, this is what happens.
We’re just saying yes, out of obligation, out of a sense of duty or that we feel like we can’t see. And that breeds a lot of resentment. That is a huge problem, right? When we put down and shoved down what we want in order to please others or to not make problems or to not rock the boat or to not really be honest we are always just going to come up with feeling very resentful and not being authentic.
And that is my second point of saying no. Can really help you be in integrity. Now integrity means we align with our values. We stick to what we believe is right and wrong. And a lot of us wouldn’t notice, but I want you to pay attention that when you’re saying yes, when you want to say no, it’s not honest.
It’s not showing up how you want it. It’s manipulative, to be honest. You’re really trying to change how other people feel by the things that you do. And it seems to come from a good place, right? Like I don’t want to hurt their feelings. I don’t want them to be disappointed, but you’re disappointed.
You don’t feel good. You’re not being honest. A lot of times what we want is connection. We want connection. But instead we disconnect because we don’t show people the real us. We don’t show them. What’s really going on. We don’t tell them what’s going on. And in our effort to preserve our relationships by saying surface level and you being dishonest in this way, we create the exact opposite result.
I was recently talking to a client and she said, I don’t want to ruin Christmas. I don’t want to be the one who doesn’t show up, but first of all, you can’t ruin Christmas for other people. They get to have their choices and their feelings and their thoughts, but really. The problem can be is we have this thing in our head of this is what the holidays look like.
This is what things are supposed to be like. And if I’m not there, if I say no, or if I don’t participate, then I’m going to ruin. But what really ruins relationships, what really ruins the holidays is not being authentic. And maybe it’s the opposite. If we be honest and we say, you know what, I just can’t handle it this year.
And I love you and I’m going to stay home. And here’s why maybe that is what really connects you. Maybe that is how. You evolve holiday celebrations to be a little more inclusive of everyone in their situation. So we’re not all just sitting there feeling alone in a crowd, trying to act perfect when her lives are tough.
I think everyone’s struggling right now. Maybe you get to be the one who shows them that it’s okay to not feel a hundred percent and to not want to do everything and to say no.
All right. And the last thing I want to give you for why you would want to say no is figuring out your reasons. Now, if you’ve listened to the podcast for a while, I talk a lot about this. What are your reasons? And I think this is so important for everyone. Why are you saying no, I am a huge fan of a pro con lists.
And I think if you have something that is really you’re struggling, deciding what to do and what to say, I would really recommend you write it out and see what your reasons are on paper right in front of you. Then they’re not spinning around in your head and slowing you down and feeling stuck.
You have them in front of you and you get to decide. What are my reasons do I like them? And which ones feel most aligned with my values, going back to that integrity. Now, sometimes your reason can just be, I don’t want to go. I don’t want to do it right. There’s times where it’s not even a big deal like this year.
I normally, where I live, we have neighbors. And people are so kind and take things around to everyone. And I don’t feel a ton of pressure to do it. I know some people feel like they feel pressured to do it, but I like doing it, but this year has been really busy. There’s been a ton going on and it’s just, it’s not happening.
And so I’m saying no to doing neighbor gifts and that’s what. I don’t need to feel bad when people keep showing up at my door, giving me a gift and I don’t have something to give them back because I know my limits and I know that I just don’t have the time, the energy, all of it to do those this year.
But I hope that I am a good neighbor all the rest of the year. And I know that. I will be there for these people. And so I’m just confident in myself. Now this has taken a lot of work. There was a time where I was much more likely to feel terrible about this or guilty, or run myself into the ground, trying to get these neighbor gifts out to everyone, but I’m not going to do that.
Cause I like my reason is. My own mental health, and I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to spend the time and the energy and the money and all of it making neighbor gifts. And that’s a good enough reason. It’s just it’s not happening this year, the end. And I don’t need to feel guilty or anything like that.
So I, I want you to really think about your reasons. Are they authentic? Do they feel good to you and always check if you are saying no out of fear, especially if you’re grieving and you feel like you’re saying no, because you don’t think you can handle something. This happens a lot. Now you absolutely can say no because you feel emotionally overwhelmed.
You don’t feel up to it. But I think if one of your reasons is. I think I might burst into tears, or I think I might cry. I might get emotional, or I might have to leave all of those fears that our brain is giving to us at offering to us. Really question those at question, if they’re true. And then question, if it’s really that big a deal, like if the worst thing that’s going to happen, say you want to go to a baby.
It’s like a really good friend or family member you want to go, but want to say no, because you’re afraid it’s going to be emotionally overwhelming. I would say check in with yourself and if the worst thing is you get there, it’s too overwhelming and you leave. What’s so bad about that.
Like, why is that a problem for you? It’s okay. To have an exit strategy. It’s okay to adapt. It’s okay to change your mind, but don’t make decisions based on fears of unknowns in the future. And especially fears of emotions. Emotions are not the enemy. Emotions are just part of this experience.
And the last thing I want to say about saying no is trust that people can handle your no, if you say no to someone and you’re so worried and up in their head about how they’re going to react. You’re not really trusting them. You’re not really being loving and caring towards them. You’re looking at their worst tendencies, but what if they can handle your know, what if they can totally adapt?
What if they can deal with a little bit of disappointment? What if they’re going to be okay if you make those choices and say, I think so many times that as a reason, we say, yes, we create so much resentment in our relationships. We say yes to things we don’t want to because we don’t think other people can handle it.
If we say no, but they can they’re grownups for the most part, you’re probably dealing with grownups and they’re going to be. And even if it’s kids, even if it’s, the family Christmas party and your nieces and nephews and cousins, everyone’s gonna be looking forward to seeing you and you don’t want to disappoint those kids.
They’re also going to be okay. They may be sad. It’s okay. If they’re sad, you love them and they’re going to be okay. So trust the people in your life, believe in them. Believe they can handle, if you say no.
Let’s talk really quickly about when to say yes, even if it’s scary. Now we talked about our reasons and sometimes our reason for not wanting to say yes is that we’re scared now. Sometimes being scared is okay. It’s okay to be scared and do things anyway. Like I said, with the baby shower, it’s like, if you really want to do it and you’re scared, you can still move forward.
Some of the reasons you would want to do this is if it will push you forward. Maybe it’s that first time. I think after losses, a lot of firsts, right? The first time we go to a baby shower, the first time we go back to work, the first time we go back to church, the first time we do all these things and if doing it will push you forward and get you past.
That fear of the first time. It’s a good thing, right? We want to push ourselves
and the more we do it, the easier it gets. And that is true for anything, whether it’s like stage fry or, speaking up at work or any of the things that we want to. The more we do it, the easier it gets. So we show our brain that it’s not so scary. So if you want to say yes to something, but you’re scared, but you just got to see, will this push me forward?
Will I move forward? Because staying stuck and constantly saying no over and over because you don’t trust yourself. I just don’t want you to feel like you’re stuck there. So I want to encourage you to push yourself a little bit. The next thing why you would say yes, even if you’re scared is because you want to show up.
Like I said, there’s people in our lives and we care about them and we want to be there for them. We want to show. We want to be the kind of person who can get into these things, especially as we’re like putting ourselves back together and trying new things and in doing all the things and experiencing all that this life has that our baby doesn’t get to experience, but we do.
So if you want to show up and you’re scared, I say, do it anyway. . And then the last reason I would say that you say yes, even when you’re scared is if your reason comes out of love is the best reason to do anything. So if there’s people you care about, if you’re caring about yourself, sometimes it’s ourself that holds ourselves back. It’s not even all the other people or the consequences or anything. It’s just us holding ourselves back. So I really want you to love yourself. And if you truly love yourself and you love the people around you and you want to do something, even though it’s scary, do it.
I want to encourage you as you’re. I’m going to say, I know there’s probably something on your mind. You’re afraid to do that. You want to do? Go ahead. It’s okay to say yes.
If these things will help you grow helps you become a better version of yourself. And if you can love yourself through the whole process and love all the people, right? Like I said, be an intensive. You’re always saying no to something and it sometimes feels good to say yes to the thing that you really want, even if it’s scary.
So I really encourage you to figure out your reasons and just be aware of why you want to say no and what feels right. And be super open to changing your mind at any moment, you can say yes to a holiday party and then change your mind right before, or you can have an exit strategy. I always do this with my clients.
I help them have a plan, have a plan so that if you do start feeling like you just do not have the energy to deal with what you’re dealing with, you can leave.
Make sure you’re not people pleasing be loving towards everyone, care about how they feel, but don’t try to manipulate how they feel and a good enough reason to say no is just, I don’t want to don’t judge your reasons that they’re not good at. If you really don’t want to do something, it’s okay to say no easiest way to say is I love you, but no, I love you, but I’m not going to be able to make it.
I love you. Thank you for this neighbor gift. I didn’t get any put together this year, but I love you, right? It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than. You can do this. You can say, no, you can learn how to take care of yourself. And I’m telling you, when you learn to take care of yourself, instead of trying to always manipulate how other people are feeling and making sure they’re happy at your own expense, you are going to find out that you will be able to show up so much better, so much more authentic.
You will have the energy you need. To really grow your relationships and evolve them from like this surface level thing where we’re not honest. And we’re all just walking around on eggshells, trying to keep each other happy to real deep relationships. And I think, again, as women and in friendships, a lot of people struggle with friendships as adults and as moms and as lost moms, try this.
Tri figuring out how to be more authentic, say no to the things you don’t want to do and say yes to everything else. It’s going to feel so much better. All right. I wish you all the most happy holidays, love and hugs. .